‘Suppressed unfairly’? John Bolton’s Twitter comeback raises Resistance hopes for Trump impeachment
President Donald Trump’s now-former National Security Advisor John Bolton returned to Twitter promising a “backstory” for his two-month absence, sending Trump critics into a frenzy of hope he might testify in impeachment hearings.
“Glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned,” the verified account with over 770,000 followers tweeted on Friday, for the first time since Bolton’s resignation – or firing, depending on who you ask – on September 10.
Glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned........— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) November 22, 2019
Another tweet declared that he has “liberated” his personal Twitter account, “suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation.”
Unsurprisingly, among the 20,000-plus responses were heartfelt pleas from online Resistance luminaries for Bolton to “do the right thing” and testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry of Trump – just like some of his NSC underlings.
“If [Bolton] loves this country, he has to tell the truth in impeachment hearings. Fiona Hill did it yesterday. He can too!” declared podcaster and activist Amy Siskind.
“We need you to speak up and quickly. Heroes are in short supply and attacked quickly by Trumpist partisans who think that the public is too stupid to know what has happened,” tweeted Yale professor Howard Forman.
We need you to speak up and quickly. Heroes are in short supply and attacked quickly by Trumpist partisans who think that the public is too stupid to know what has happened.— (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) November 22, 2019
“No games Mr Bolton. Do what’s right. That’s all,” said ex-congressman Joe Walsh, a Trump critic hoping to primary the president in 2020.
There were plenty of skeptics among the Resistance, however – such as President Bill Clinton’s former spokesman turned podcaster Joe Lockhart and Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey, who suspected Bolton was trying to market his book rather than help Congress impeach his former boss.
“Patriots testify. Grifters don’t,” Lockhart declared.
If John Bolton is keeping critical information from Congress in order to boost book sales, I hope all news organizations will refuse to give him a platform to market his book. Patriots testify. Grifters don’t. @AmbJohnBolton —remembered as Fiona Hill or @realDonaldTrumphttps://t.co/TkwsGJtZd9— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) November 22, 2019
Bolton may be a skilled bureaucratic tactician but he was never much of a showman. This kind of game playing is transparent and tiresome. You owe your country complete and truthful testimony before Congress. Stop trying to sell us your book. https://t.co/WyuUWHiOEL— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) November 22, 2019
Bolton’s two follow-up tweets made no suggestion he might testify, however. Though he speculated the tweeting ban might have been “out of fear of what I may say,” as of 3 pm on Friday he hasn’t followed that up by saying anything one way or the other.
Re: speaking up -- since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) November 22, 2019
It is no secret that Bolton left the White House not on the best terms with the president, fueling hopes among Trump’s critics that the disgruntled hawk might seek to get back at Trump by spilling all the NSC secrets to House Democrats.
The only trouble with that scenario is that the hearings have ended for the foreseeable future, with the House on Thanksgiving recess through December 3. Trump has already declared he would just love to have a trial in the Senate – where, unlike the House, Republicans have the majority and can set the rules.Also on rt.com ‘I want a Senate impeachment trial’, Trump says in live TV phone call
Eventually, Bolton did say that the White House "never returned access" to his account, effectively holding it hostage, and praised Twitter for "standing by their community standards" and taking a hand in its restoration.
Whether that gets characterized as Trump's newest impeachable offense, it remains to be seen.
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